BANGOR – Santa Claus isn’t the only one working on Christmas day. Many people are working around the clock to make sure their community members are safe and healthy during the holidays.
Some of those workers include the staff at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
“I get here around 7 a.m., put my lunch away and I’m ready to hit the floor,” said Emergency Department Nurse Lisa Grindle.
Many agree it’s difficult to leave their loved ones behind on Christmas, but one nurse said it’s a day they spend with a special kind of family.
“We kind of joke around and say we’re here with our work family,” said Emergency Room Physician Bart Douglas.
“We are a family. We are a unit,” Grindle added.
“We work together, especially in this department, because of the traumas that we face or the serious illnesses that we face. There is a bond there and I think we try to share that with our patients to let them know that we do care about them and we are there for them to help them,” she said.
Grindle said it’s all about making sure patients, like Jim Wood, get into the holiday spirit. More importantly, they know they’re not alone.
Wood has been in the hospital for about two weeks. He said the staff is doing everything to make sure this is a merry Christmas for him and his family.
“If I had to be anywhere for Christmas other than at home, under the circumstances I’m in, this is the place to be,” Wood said.
Although Wood was spending Christmas in the hospital recovering from surgery, his family was there with him along with the hospital staff who spread Christmas cheer.
“We got some carolers coming by. So I walked to the door with her and sure enough a whole body of people came by singing Christmas carols. In fact, they stopped just outside the door there and I just joined right in with them,” Wood said as he started to sing.
“They enjoyed it. I enjoyed it and I thank them profusely for coming by and enhancing the Christmas season for me,” he said.